Few regions of the globe evoke loneliness and danger like Antarctica.
That bleak white and stubborn cold have been the backdrop for dramatic explorations, or the perfect setting for haunting novels and science fiction or intrigue movies. Chronicles of shipwrecks and whalers, of strong men who defied an inclement nature. An unexplored continent only mapped in the last century. Stories and maps that fill libraries.
That epic vision is also conjugated with the image of a territory of science (not without adventure and danger either). Antarctica as a giant laboratory that illuminates us on our remote past and on our future as humanity, is part of the image of the continent. Politics and international law are also automatically associated with Antarctica. A space for international cooperation and underground geopolitical competencies.
However, such historical, political and emotional density have not had a translation in the plastic and visual arts. Most photographs and documentaries about Antarctica generally tend to accompany political or scientific narratives. Even so, in these documentaries the beauty of Antarctica and its overwhelming emptiness creep in.
Antarctica has been a continent of explorers, adventurers, military men, scientists, and diplomats. But not from artists. The difficulty of access to Antarctica conspired so that we do not have an abundant plastic art work on one of the most beautiful territories on the planet.
We should be proud that the Argentinian Antarctic Program has accommodated national and foreign artists who bear witness to that part of our Argentina through art. The magnificent work of Alberto Morales, compiled in Al sur del Sur is the result of such a wise decision.
Alberto’s work brings us closer to Antarctica from the feeling. Glaciers, icebergs, ship bows can be seen as abstract or figurative works but they undoubtedly express that desolation and beauty that is reflected in every Antarctic story. From a monotonous navigation log to the voices of Edgard Allan Poe or H.P. Lovecraft.
Gray seas and skies crossed by reds, variations of blues that belie the idea of a monotonous white. Alberto brings us the Antarctic light with its nuances, drama and intensity.
To the south of the South, he presents Antarctica with different eyes and makes us fall in love with those frozen lands and seas. The contribution of artists like Alberto to have a more comprehensive vision of Antarctica is no less. A look that goes beyond science and politics, the lenses with which we usually see the white continent. A great musician once said that information is not knowledge, that knowledge is not wisdom and that wisdom is not beauty. That’s what it is about. To make room for beauty to understand and love a part of our beloved Argentina.
Alberto Morales makes us a place of beauty to understand and love a part of our beloved Argentina.
Javier Figueroa – Current Argentine Ambassador to the United Kingdom.